I recently got back from 7 days in Cuba. The vacation was the perfect balance between relaxation and active traveling / experiencing of the geography and culture of the country. Between my experiences on and off of the resort, I really noticed the difference between Cubans and Canadians. For one thing, to put it bluntly, there are very few overweight Cubans and plenty of overweight Canadians in contrast. There are reasons for this - obviously we have more excess money in general to be spending on excess food, but another important factor is that we have such a HUGE variety of foods! And I don't think it's a good thing. Because the large variety in these foods is bringing us farther away from what we are actually supposed to eat.

Cubans eat a lot of pork, chicken, fish, rice and beans. That is the bulk of their more filling staples. These are real foods, that humans are designed to eat. I'm sick and tired of hearing people say that eating healthy is expensive - if you're shopping in health food stores and in the health food sections, yes, sometimes higher quality foods cost a little bit more money. Does that mean you should choose a bag of Tostitos over a bag of brown rice? Canned cream soups over canned beans? Kraft Dinner over broccoli? Guys, it's time to get real. Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Do you have to work your taste buds away from fake tastes in the "foods" you HAVE been eating? Yeah. Is it going to be tough? Yeah. Are you going to be glad you did it? YES.

I was watching the Canadians on the resort in shock. We must look so silly to the happy, relaxed Cuban people. We go on a vacation and drink and eat as much as we possibly can until we're red in the face, obnoxious and completely lethargic, unable to enjoy anything except getting more drunk and more full. Now, I'm generalizing. I know. Of course there are many Canadians who eat clean foods, who celebrate vacations by exploring and indulging moderately and can relax without being self-destructive. But having the two cultures side-by-side really got me thinking about how beautiful a culture the Cubans have.

Little envy, little self-destruction, little attitude. Canadians were knocking each other over at the buffet to get to the bacon. Seriously!

More often than not, less is more. I've said it before and I will say it again - keep it simple. Eat clean. Be kind to your body. Be kind to OTHERS. My mission in the fitness industry is to cut out all of the fuss - all of the "diet" foods and campaigns and marketing scams and gimmicks and gizmos. Keep it simple.

The conscious, clever and creative rap group De La Soul said: "I figure excess'll only bring an excessive amount of fuss" (Trying People). Truer words were never spoken. This is a bit of a disorganized post, but these were my views / thoughts during and after vacation.

I wish we could all become more compassionate toward others, and most importantly to ourselves (because that leads to being compassionate toward others). Maybe if you say a wish out loud...

*photo found at marklipinskisblog.com